ON A glorious July morning 19 members met at the Ilkeston factory of Weleda.
The company has a very proud heritage, founded by Rudolf Steiner, a scientist and philosopher,and Ita Wegman,in the 1920s.
The visit was designed to follow the cultivation of plants through to the final product.
Expert pharmaceutical techniques are used to produce homeopathic medicines and cosmetics.
All products are made from carefully sourced materials, and the plants are all grown under biodynamic conditions.
Additives are not included in the formulations.
Following this introduction our sense of expectation was at a high level.We were not to be disappointed.
We then visited the nearby 15 acre garden.
This was an unforgettable experience in so many ways.
Long-established and traditional methods are used to grow and harvest the amazing variety of plants valued for their beneficial properties.
The abundant insect life testified to the health of the plants.
The apiarist gave us the chance to taste the honey, straight from the comb.
We marvelled at the triffid-like thistles, calendula cheered us in the bright sunshine, rows of wild strawberries enticed us, sage ,blackthorn and flowers in the meadows were enjoying the sunshine as much as we were.
In the shade of a small marquee we were given a demonstration of the making of a mother tincture from freshly harvested calendula.
It was then back to the factory after a much needed cooling drink.
Following lunch, we were given demonstrations on ointment making.
Only animal and vegetable ingredients are used.
Beeswax, lanolin, olive oil and sunflower oils are favoured.
Our senses were tested on a range of natural aromatic oils.
Of the last leg of this superb day we donned protective clothing and were able to see the laboratory production of an homeopathic medicine.
Views on the place of homeopathic medicines vary a great deal.
However, there can be no doubt that many people value these products as part of their health care.
The club chairman, Arthur Williams thanked the staff of Weleda for their helpful, informative and inspirational guidance.
It is greatly reassuring that, in these hi-tech days, there is still a place for a natural holistic approach so superbly enshrined in Weleda’s philosophy and practice.